Russ Brandon to Receive Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award

BUFFALO, NY – The Canisius College Board of Regents will present Russ Brandon, president and chief executive officer of the Buffalo Bills, with its Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award at the 48th annual Scholarship Ball on Saturday, May 3 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. The evening begins with cocktails at 6:00 p.m. The awards presentation takes place at 7:30 p.m. Dinner will immediately follow. The Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award is presented by the Canisius College Board of Regents and recognizes an individual for his/her contributions to the civic, cultural and/or economic well-being of the Western New York region.

A native of East Syracuse, NY, Brandon assumed the role of president of the Buffalo Bills in January 2013. Within the first few months of his appointment, he named Doug Marrone as the franchise’s 16th head coach. Under Brandon’s leadership, the franchise also drafted Quarterback EJ Manuel and named Doug Whaley its new general manager. Brandon is also involved with the draft, free agency and he continues to oversee efforts to improve the game day experience for all Bills’ fans.

Prior to Brandon’s appointment as president, he served two years as the team’s CEO. During his tenure, Brandon played an integral role in negotiating a new stadium lease agreement between the Bills, the State of New York and Erie County to keep the franchise in Western New York for the foreseeable future. Also, before being named president and CEO, Brandon led the day-to-day business operations, which has greatly contributed to the viability of the franchise.

Brandon joined the Bills franchise in 1997 as executive director of business development and marketing. He became vice president of the department in 1999, and is credited with forming strategic alliances with key business partners, as well as developing the team into a regional franchise.

It was under Brandon’s leadership that the Bills relocated the team’s training camp to St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY.  The new location provided the perfect blend of fan interaction and training accommodations, and is considered to be the elite model for NFL training camps. 

Brandon began his sports business career as a member of the Rochester Red Wings (then a Triple A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) and later earned a World Series ring as part of the Florida Marlins’ front office.   He is a recipient of the Excellence in Management Award from St. John Fisher College’s School of Business, Brandon’s alma mater.  The award recognizes alumni who demonstrate outstanding leadership and managerial accomplishments, a proven track record of significant accomplishments in the field of management, and a record of community involvement. 

Brandon was a two-sport athlete at St. John Fisher (football and baseball) and was elected to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.  He currently serves on the St. John Fisher College Board of Trustees and on the advisory board for the Department of Sports Management at Syracuse University.  He is also a member of the board for the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise.

The Regents Scholarship Ball is the principal fundraiser for the Canisius College Board of Regents Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to promising young students who otherwise would not be able to take advantage of a Canisius education.  Independent Health is the presenting sponsor of the event.  

To purchase tickets or learn about sponsorship opportunities for the ball, contact Rachel Flammer, assistant director of advancement events and stewardship, at 716-888-8228, at flammerr@canisius.edu or by clicking here. 

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.